Moultrie Observer

Local News

November 1, 2012

Evers focused on morale of sheriff's department

MOULTRIE — Jerry Evers said he has campaigned for Colquitt County Sheriff the old-fashioned way — “one on one with the voter.”

“I’m not a politician but one thing is I care about people,” he said. “There’s no problem that would be too small to handle. I want people to know I’d be there for them.”

The 55-year-old retired police chief is running as a Democrat for sheriff — his first attempt at elected office. He says he draws on his experience from being a patrol officer and chief. Evers lives in Berlin, where he was police chief for three years.

Evers, whose father was a Colquitt County native, spent his childhood in Texas and later moved to Nichols, Ga. He attended Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville and Thomas University. He served six years in the Army.

He began his law enforcement career 25 years ago as a police officer in Nichols before becoming police chief in Cannon. He held the chief’s position in Cusseta before moving back to Colquitt County and joined the Moultrie Police Department for 4 1/2 years. Evers then accepted the chief’s position in Berlin and later became chief in Damascus, where he retired in 2010.

Evers said his primary challenge is to boost morale in the sheriff’s department. He said citizens have complained to him about the “attitudes” of some officers. He says the problem might be burnout.

Evers plans to address such problems through training and leading by example. He is a certified training officer and says he can save the county money by handling most of the training himself.

“The biggest thing I would change is morale,” Evers said. “I’ll try to encourage and not discourage. Attitude has a lot to do with job performance. I’ll do anything I can to help my officers and try to build up the department.”

Evers says increasing the number of officers on patrol can help prevent burnout and also fight crime. He himself plans to spend time on patrol and talking with citizens.

“I plan to be a hands-on sheriff,” he said.

His “proactive” plan includes an attack on youth gangs and substance abuse, adding extra patrols for high-risk areas, a multi-agency disaster plan and holding public meetings.  

Evers said it is possible to increase patrols without asking for more tax money. He proposes shifting money in the $6 million budget to the most needed areas.

Putting computers in patrol cars is another goal, and Evers said he is experienced in getting grant money for such expenses without burdening the local taxpayer.

“Elected officials forget who they work for,” Evers said. “We’re responsible to the ones who elected us and to even those who didn’t vote for us.”

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